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A long way short of a quality read.
on 27 July 2012
Set amidst all the colour, squalor and courage of post-Katrina New Orleans. An attractively rumpled hard-boiled and all-heart detective. A beautiful young musician stalked by a vicious obsessive. Right from the start you can see it isn't going to be pretty.
It's not. And I'm not talking about plot development here. Diva is a long way short of a quality detective genre read.
Fleet's characterisation is hugely let down by stock descriptions trotted out repeatedly. All her characters have dark secrets. The women are all referenced by the colour of their eyes. Under pressure, the men's guts roil and and churn. All of them. Every time. Stomach-churning. And not in a good way.
Dialogue founders weakly and action is delayed while characters lock gaze (here we go with those eyes again) and mutually assess physique. Fleet needs to make up her mind whether this series is a romance with thrills or a thriller with frills. It's not doing either well. Police procedural detail is sketchy and sex that might be about to be satisfying for someone is inevitably and repeatedly interrupted by news of another murder.
Diva eventually lights a few twigs in the fire-fight of the final chapters. But it's been a long and implausible haul and I won't be back in Detective Frank Renzi's New Orleans any time soon.